Sarah Wells- Gaston reports …
The final of Warwick Hall’s three British Eventing fixtures was as well supported as the previous two competitions with riders competing from BE80(T) up to Open Novice.
A win in Novice Section A for Cathrine Taylor and Bazaars Chit Chat saw her clinch the Warwick Hall Cup. The Warwick Hall Cup offers a Grand Slam opportunity for any rider and horse combination winning at each of the three fixtures at Warwick Hall and if this is not achieved it will be won by the competitor with the next best set of results from all three competitions. The pair had been in second place going into the event having been placed fourth and second at the May and June competitions respectively. It was worth the travel from Staffordshire for Taylor, who also picked up a win in BE100 Section E with Al Pacino Q.
Holly Richardson was another double winner at Warwick Hall. As well as winning the Four-Year-Old qualifier (Section I2) riding Kees, she also won BE100 Section Q with Ipache. It was their second win at the venue in 2019 having won Warwick Hall (1) with a score of 13.0. The pair have also won at Belsay this season. Overall it was a successful weekend for Richardson who also picked up a second and 10thplacing with all of her horses picking up rosettes.
Lucy Hixson and Rocklands Bob were the winner of the BE80(T) Regional Final with Rocklands Bob. The pair, who finished on their dressage score of 20.8, are having a successful season – taking a win at BE90 at Breckenborough on top of three other top ten placings.
As well as the Four-Year-Old qualifier and BE80(T) Regional Final, the event hosted a qualifier for the Five-Year-Old championships (Section G) and this was won by Wills Oakden and Cooley Cando.
Tracy McMann and Upper Key were the winners in BE80(T) Section P. She has owned Keys, who is a 13-year-old ex-racehorse as a ‘happy hacker’ nine years ago but soon discovered he loved to jump. But for Tracy the win is the culmination of overcoming her crisis of confidence, and she has done so in winning form.
Tracy told Eventing Worldwide:
“I’d had 13 years away from horses while I left Ireland for university and a career. I was a little rusty having show jumped ponies in Ireland; eventing and cross country in particular scared the life out of me so I’d never done any of it. Keys flat raced twice, but racing was not for him, thankfully. He is such a dreamboat, so easy to have around. He tries his little heart out and really looks after me.
“In October 2012 I had an awkward tumble at the end of a dressage lesson and fractured two vertebrae. I was very good and followed all doctors orders but when it came to riding again I’d lost all my confidence. I wouldn’t hack and I wouldn’t ride in a field. I’d lead him to the arena, ride and lead him back. Then in 2013 I met Charlotte Ridley – I went to her confidence jump camp, I got on the field for my cross country lesson, cried, had a canter round the field and got off. But that was still more then I’d done in ages. I have lessons with Charlotte every month and go to as many of her camps as I can afford. Charlotte’s patience and method of teaching the nervous rider is amazing and in April 2015 I completed my first BE80T with a decent dressage and double clear and Charlotte was waiting for me at the finish.
“We went from strength to strength and stepped up to BE90 at the end of 2016. We came out in 2017 and placed at Dalkeith and Floors Castle and then for no reason whatsoever my confidence was gone again. So I took a little break from eventing and did some dressage – it turns out Keys is a bit of an all-rounder, winning the Sheepgate Prelim Championship in May this year and we have qualified for BD Area Festival Finals at Novice.
“We started out this BE season again with no expectations of placing, just getting round was success enough for us. But we have got consistently better as this season has progressed and to win at the fabulous Warwick Hall was just amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed our cross country – I laughed and whooped all the way round. The Cumbria Horse Trials are such wonderful events, everyone is so supportive and friendly. My plan for the rest of the season is to get another good run at BE80T and then hopefully finish the season with a BE90. Then 2020 will hopefully see us back to where we were.”
Another ex-racehorse picked up top honours in BE80(T) Section O as Laura Sanderson piloted Goodknight Percy to victory. Laura, who is about to turn 60, didn’t start riding until she was in her thirties and joined a local riding club.
Laura told Eventing Worldwide: “I bought him having just raced in December 2016. I chucked him out in the field for a few months. I have brought him on slowly doing dressage and show jumping and this year decided to try eventing as he is now six-years-old. I did our first riding club team eventing competition and we came second as team and we came 1st individually. Then we did the three Warrick Hall events and a win, a fourth and a win. He is a super wee chestnut turbo charged superstar! We also head to Swalcliffe to the Riding Club eventing championships and then we’ll carry on with British Dressage show jumping and eventing.”
Vicky Arnold and Forever Van Het Sonnishof, an eight-year-old Belgium Warmblood, topped BE100 Section R finishing on their dressage score of 22.8.
Vicky told Eventing Worldwide: “I have been riding from a very young age and have been greatly influenced by my mum, who used to compete some years ago. Hugo is a lovable rogue, who just loves attention, especially being told he’s a good boy. I was absolutely thrilled to win the 100 section at Warwick at the weekend finishing on my dressage. My mum and I bought Hugo as an unbroken three-year-old and have produced him over the last five years. It makes me very proud when we achieve results as we did. Hugo and I are heading off to Swalcliffe to compete in the British Riding Clubs three-day event National Horse Trials Championships next. I love eventing, but also compete in all disciplines and still love to compete for my local riding club Longton and we are hoping to qualify for the grassroots championships next year.”
Elizabeth Ostle and Glenmara Freya were the winners in BE90 Section H. Elizabeth told Eventing Worldwide: “It was amazing to win – this mare is so consistent and tries her heart out but we were forever seemingly stuck at fourth place but it just all came together on the day and we have been working hard on our flat work which paid off in both the dressage and a better show jumping round. We are now focusing more on showing for the rest of the summer as she also qualified for HOYS Search For A Star show hunter class. We may enter another BE in September as she just loves cross country – it’s all about what makes them happy.”
Other section results: Novice Section B Emma Murray, Carden Flame; Novice Section C Anna Layfield, Darraks Clover Lux; Open Novice Section C1 Robin Gray, Gelukkig; BE100 Section D Gary Foggon, Whos A Boozer; BE100 Open Section F Josh Haynes, Waithside De Rebus; BE90 Section I Leanne Graves, Showcase; BE90 Section J Jill Slight, Harelaw Apollo; BE90 Section K Victoria Gibson, HK Up and Coming; BE90 Section L Rebekah Reay, Saffron IX; BE90 Open Section M Lucinda Atkinson, Singing in the Rain.